Flag of Mars

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Flag of Mars

The flag of Mars is a tricolour used by the Mars Society and The Planetary Society to represent the planet Mars. It is not official in any legal sense, as the Outer Space Treaty forbids the appropriation of celestial bodies by any means.[1]

Design[edit]

The flag is designed to portray the "future history" of Mars. The red bar, which lies closest to the mast, symbolizes Mars as it is today. The green and blue symbolize stages in the possible terraforming of Mars should humanity ever have the will and the ability to undertake such a task; the ethics of terraforming remaining a matter of debate. Kim Stanley Robinson's popular trilogy Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars provided the concept for the flag. The design was originally proposed by NASA engineer Pascal Lee, during a summer 1999 expedition to Devon Island, Canada, as task force leader for the Mars Society's Mars Arctic Research Station project.

Use[edit]

The flag now flies over the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station on Devon Island, and is displayed in several places on the Mars Desert Research Station campus in Utah. It has also flown in space, carried aboard the space shuttle Discovery by astronaut John M. Grunsfeld on STS-103 in 1999.

Official status[edit]

There is no official flag for Mars since there is no government or other authority in existence capable of adopting such a flag. In addition, the Outer Space Treaty states in Article II that "outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means."

Other Fictional Mars flags[edit]

One interpretation of the Flag of the Federal Republic of Mars, as described in the book Moving Mars

In his science-fiction novel Moving Mars, Greg Bear describes the flag of the fictional Federal Republic of Mars as follows: "red Mars and two moons in blue field above a diagonal, white below".

From Stranger in a Strange Land: "The field in white and the sigil of Mars in red"

In Robert A. Heinlein's novel Stranger in a Strange Land, a flag of Mars is hastily improvised, consisting of the "traditional human symbol for Mars" in red on a white sheet.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading